Christmas And The Guardian Pups - Home on the Range Blog at - 292339

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Christmas and the Guardian Pups 
Dec. 17, 2012 1:23 pm 
Updated: Dec. 26, 2012 7:31 am

I don't normally post two blogs in one week, but this is my last blog for the year and it's one that is close to my heart.

When the “polar bears” first came home with us, it was to protect the two Nubian goats we had, from the many predators that boldly approached our house at all times, in all seasons. They were just small bundles of fur at that time, but absolutely fearless and already dedicated to a job they were born to do.

We put them in a small pen along with the goats, who mercilessly pummeled them, not being used to dogs. When the pups would cautiously approach them, the goats would run, fearfully and when cornered, they would bash and abuse the pups. Thankfully, we had done our research and made a small space in the pen where the pups could escape if the goats became too rough. This happened, again and again, but the pups were not discouraged. Instead, they became more determined. They were always gentle and tender with the livestock, making their approach slowly and even laying down exposing their bellies, inviting the animals to come and see their intentions were not for their harm. The tiny warriors would snarl and yip at my Jersey cow when she came too near ‘their’ goats and nothing, large or small was allowed to threaten the ungrateful and ornery goats.

Once I let them all loose in the pasture, the goats would go about their way, grazing and unaware of the watchful eyes of the puppies who were always vigilant of intruders.

 In time, the goats stopped fighting them and took their presence for granted. We got a couple of sheep shortly after and the pups had to go through the same routine all over again. The pups would flop onto their backs making themselves completely vulnerable and the sheep would ram them and abuse them, it seems, for sport. In spite of the ill treatment, the puppies continued to guard the lives of this ungrateful group. Eventually things all settled down. It was weaning time at the ranch and the boss always puts about 300 or so calves in the field behind our house where the goats and sheep spend the summer. 
Cletus, beside himself with excitement would run from calf to calf, attempting to touch noses with them and indoctrinate them into his care. 

They were so excited to have a large group to take care of. When the calves were moved to another large pasture, far away, the pups would make a daily trek to go find them and check on their welfare. They once traveled as far as 6 miles across the ranch to locate them, so dedicated were they.

The pups are full grown dogs now, weighing in at 100 and 120 lbs. They continue to take care of all the animals in their care, chickens, sheep, goats, cows. They have faced off raccoons, coyotes, other dogs, bobcats, cougars, and porcupines (with less than stellar results from the latter varmint mentioned). 

They continue to shepherd over and guard our animals, regardless of the response of those who are the beneficiaries of their courage. These dogs willingly risk their lives in defense of those who cannot save themselves. The sheep, when danger presents itself, have learned to follow them to safety and remain there behind the hedge of protection the dogs provide around them as they come between the sheep and the intruder.
I’ve even watched the sheep graze and cud, unaffected and more often than not unaware, of the danger the dogs hold at bay.

For me, it is a daily reminder of He who came to protect and save us. Born without knowledge of Him, into a sin-soaked world where men war against one another over power and greed, where madmen slaughter innocents in schools and in the womb, where men strive to deny His very existence, we have run from God, but all the while He loved and loves us still, enough not to give up. We have mocked Him, rebelled against Him, verbally bashed Him, misjudged Him and taken Him for granted. Still, He chose to come on our account and give His life on our behalf to bridge the gap between the sin saturated and the Holy, because we are defenseless and unable to do it ourselves. To those who have learned to follow Him, we are able to remain at peace, even when surrounded by pain, heartache, by tragedy, death and by the storms of life, as we reside behind the hedge of His protection. He is always gladdened by new members to His flock, yet never draws them by fear or force but by invitation and his unconditional love and dedication to them is eternal. 

This Christmas, when you celebrate the babe in the manger, keep your eyes heavenward  and remember why He came, because He was born and gave His life, with you in mind.

Dec. 17, 2012 1:39 pm
I think that was the most beautiful way I have ever heard of sharing our Lord's love for us. Won't you be my neighbor? :)
Dec. 17, 2012 1:50 pm
Thank you Petey for that wonderful reminder. Have a very Merry Christmas and all the best to you in the New Year. - Patricia
Dec. 17, 2012 1:53 pm
Beautiful story; loved reading it although at times, there were tears in my eyes. You have such a way with words, thank you for sharing....
Dec. 17, 2012 2:01 pm
Such a beautiful analogy, petey. Thank you so much for letting us share in the examples of His love you get to experience on a daily basis. God bless and Merry Christmas.
Dec. 17, 2012 2:10 pm
You bet, doc...of course you DO realize our nearest neighbor is over 20 miles away? Thanks, Patricia, Misty and Keri Merry Christmas
Dec. 17, 2012 2:16 pm
As always petey,beautiful,your way with words is just wonderful.Very MERRY CHRISTMAS to you,and a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR.
Dec. 17, 2012 2:47 pm
thank you, Petey- this was the most wonderful CHRISTmas gift:-)
Dec. 17, 2012 2:56 pm
A beautiful picture of our Savior's love for us. Thank you, petey.
Dec. 17, 2012 3:07 pm
What a blessing, petey. Thank you. May you be blessed this Christmas with a warm fire, a full table, a cheerful home, and loving companions!
Dec. 17, 2012 3:12 pm
So many things you said bring memories of things I see from living in a wilderness environment and being able to look up into the heavenly skies at night with little surrounding light. I’m sure you think a lot about how everything you observe fits together in what is the most unbelievable, magical scheme of detailed organization that simply boggles the human mind. I’m sure you’ve concluded that no ‘big bang’ explosion in the universe somehow created a universe where everything is suspended in harmony and that the tiniest things have infinite detail . . . like the memory capability of a single gene in our body that can pass genetic traits to offspring. Every explosion I’ve observed creates chaos and mass disorganization. What is so beautiful about your blog is giving a glimpse to others of how you see the world from a unique place and a brief opportunity to feel it though your eyes. Hope you, Randyman, the two ‘polar bears’, and all the others there on the ranch have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
Dec. 17, 2012 3:19 pm
Thanks to all of you, for encouraging me all these years, and thanks, ConkyJoe, you are so right!
Dec. 17, 2012 3:20 pm
This is so beautiful. God's creation, reveals His Love. The Lord Jesus is our Savior and we need Him everyday. You are blessed to be surrounded by His little helpers, you dogs, who remind you so dearly of how He cares so tenderly for each of us. Amen, thank you!
Dec. 17, 2012 3:29 pm
What more is there to say than what you have said so perfectly. Thank you.
Dec. 17, 2012 4:13 pm
Thank you, Petey.
Dec. 17, 2012 7:11 pm
Thank you Petey what a great blog! Merry Christmas to you and yours may your new year be full of love and joy!
Dec. 17, 2012 8:30 pm
What a beautiful reminder of God's love for us this Christmas season and all through the year. I love reading your blogs. You have a real gift of creating pictures through words. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.
Dec. 18, 2012 8:43 am
Beautiful, petey. What a lovely way to close out out the "blog" year.
Dec. 18, 2012 12:21 pm
Amen Petey. Thank you for boldly and beautifully sharing the reason for the season!
Dec. 18, 2012 12:32 pm
You are a very talented writer, Petey. What a pleasure to read your posts! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with the AR community. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. :)
Dec. 18, 2012 1:03 pm
Thank you, Petey, for sharing your gift of expression with us, and for fearlessly sharing Jesus. Hugs from the farm folk in southern Virginia- stay warm and Merry CHRISTmas!
Dec. 18, 2012 1:10 pm
Thank you for those beautiful words. I have been so near tears since the senseless murder of all the children in Ct. This was one of the most beautiful stories of Christmas I have heard in a while. Let us just pray now that we allow God back into our schools. We have pushed him out for years and when something like this happens everyone wants to know where he is. Well he was there all the time watching and shedding more tears than we can imagine.Merry Christmas Petey.
Dec. 19, 2012 6:55 am
Petey, Your blog touches my soul. Your photos tell a story that can not be put into words.
Dec. 19, 2012 11:08 am
May you all feel His blessings this Christmas and the coming New Year
Dec. 19, 2012 8:08 pm
petey, your words are amazing. These past days since Friday have been so very hard. Trying to understand is beyond my comprehension, I guess. I, too, just can't stop crying. My daughter is an elementary principal and my husband is a teacher. I think of these things every single day. The dogs are, as always, beautiful. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now.... please never stop writing and sharing with us. Peace and Joy (hopefully) in 2013.
Dec. 20, 2012 4:37 am
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have these lovely pups at the front door of every elementary school in our nation! You amaze me Petey with your writing and beautiful photos of a wonderful life! Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 20, 2012 7:13 am
WOW,amazing stuff Petey! Merry Christmas.
Dec. 20, 2012 3:29 pm
Amen & Amen.
Dec. 20, 2012 4:07 pm
I don't read the blogs,, but today for some reason i was browsing and just so happened I decided to read yours. How absolutly amazing, this story is! So glad you wrote to remind everyone how Great GOD is!We should always try to stay insinc with HIM. Have a safe, happy, holiday ALL!
Dec. 21, 2012 7:28 am
Thank you all for coming by and taking the time to comment. I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas season and joy in the new year!
Dec. 21, 2012 1:14 pm
Thank you for the reminder. May God bless and keep you. Merry Christmas.
Dec. 21, 2012 2:43 pm
Having just been through the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and then watching the horror of Newtown, I am especially grateful for my faith because sometimes it is all I can cling to. Have a very Merry Christmas and give the beautiful pooches an extra treat from me.
Dec. 21, 2012 5:57 pm
Isn't that just so, BSM? He is a very present help in time of trouble
Dec. 21, 2012 9:54 pm
Thank-you so much. This was so adorable. Merry Christmas & God bless you.
Dec. 22, 2012 5:30 am
This was a beautiful story relating back to our Jesus Christ birth. Bless you and your family and thank you for sharing. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Dec. 22, 2012 6:24 am
With tears streaming down my face, it's hard to express what I am feeling. I want to thank you for this beautiful reminder of the birth and sacrifice that was made for all mankind. I pray that the families and friends of the innocents taken by evil here and around the world will find some solace. God Bless you Petey!
Dec. 22, 2012 9:04 am
Beautiful words; beautiful photography; beautiful message. Thank you!
Dec. 22, 2012 2:19 pm
AMEN!!!!!!!!!! That was absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!Don't forget THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. MERRY CHRISTMAS, PETEY! I love those big, white, furry creatures AND all the animals they protect!!!!!
Dec. 22, 2012 7:23 pm
I am not a Christian but this expression of your faith was very moving. I think we might disagree on a few things but I respect your faith and admire your eloquence.
Dec. 23, 2012 8:12 am
Thank you all, and thank you kestrel. I appreciate your taking the time to comment as well as your heart, kindness and candidness. May the New Year be a joyous one for all of you!
Dec. 23, 2012 9:10 pm
So Cute The pictures
Dec. 23, 2012 10:55 pm
So beautifully said! God bless you.
Dec. 24, 2012 6:24 am
Merry Christmas Petey! As always, I loved your post. And, those wonderful, wonderful dogs...I want one. LOL.
Dec. 26, 2012 7:31 am
Amen, Petey
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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